Saturday, July 1, 2006

A Little Perspective

1 in 4 U.S. jobs pays less than a poverty-level income.
2 in 5 elderly live on less than $18,000 a year, including Social Security benefits.
The average credit card balance for households earning less than $35,000 is $4,000.
1 in 3 people who have left welfare since 1996 did so because they couldn't meet the program requirements or they hit the 5-year limit.
Since 2000, the number of Americans living below the poverty line at any one time has steadily risen. Now, 13% of all Americans (37 million) are officially poor.
Among households worth less than $13,500, their average net worth in 2001 was $0. By 2004, it was down to -$1,400.
Bush's tax cuts (extended until 2010) save those earning between $20,000 and $30,000 an average of $10 a year, while those earning $1 million are saved $42,700.
In 2002, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) compared those who point out statistics such as the ones above to Adolph Hitler.
NOW, HERE'S THE PERSPECTIVE:
Richard Helfant, the executive director of Lucy, the elephant icon in Margate, NJ is paid a salary of $69,000 plus benefits. The salary is paid by a New Jersey state grant and the Save Lucy Committee, a not-for-profit organization. Helfant believes the flak he has gotten over his exorbitant salary is because he is gay. For all of that, Lucy is operating in the red, including Helfant's squandering money on shopping trips, limo rides and courting Barry Manilow for the cause.
Forget the excessive salaries paid to athletes, actors and CEOs (well, forget some of them) and focus on what we pay people who do mundane jobs, and do them poorly at that. Remember, as you creep toward your 60th birthday, that 40% of our elderly are living on less than $18,000, and it is only getting worse.
Thanks to the July/August 2006 issue of Mother Jones magazine for the statistics, and to Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer for aggravating me with the front-page Lucy story.

5 comments:

Kate Michele said...

AMERICA!!! All so true...

My grandma only gets 900.00 a month to live on, thats her SS, thats all the income she has!! Her mortgage is 450 her heat is 250, and she still has food electric at all the other utilities!!! Its so sad...shes 74 and in the early stages of alhamerizers, whats she going to do? She can't work!! And assissted living cost around 3000.00a month!! What senior has that??

And even those families making 40k a year, which use to be plenty, are scraping by, due to the rise in health care coverage and the gas prices and the rise in everything else!! I'd like to know how all these people in these big new houses are doing it, around here there are very few jobs, people move out of state or at least toward Columbus to find the jobs, they can't all be doctors. Either they BOTH have very good paying jobs or there is A LOT of credit card debt!!

Pam said...

Truly sad. Many charities pay very (too?) high salaries and squander funds. Be sure to check them out before giving or give directly to people in need. Goods & services can't be used to pay some CEO's 300K salary!

I have wondered how all of the people living in McMansions around here are doign it. This also reminds me of what one of my foreign students said one time. "I was shocked that all American's aren't rich". Between that myth and what people from other countries see on Jerry Springer...well, it's no wonder the world hates Americans!

Kate Michele said...

Pam: WORD sister!!

kimmyk said...

Is that the elephant from Disney's Aladdin?

What exactly does Richard Helfant do with that elephant?

The world is an insane place. Our elderly worked so hard to receive so little....

Forty_Two said...

All interests are functions of self interest. Never forget that.